Mississippi Sports Betting Handle, Casino Revenue Drop in October
Christopher Boan - Nov 16, 2023
BetMississippi.com is your No. 1 source for all things Mississippi sports betting. While retail sports betting has been legal since 2018, online Mississippi sportsbooks have not been legalized in the state yet, but the long-awaited arrival could be coming soon with the passing of House Bill 606. The bill establishes a task force to set and present guidelines for potential online sports betting by Oct. 2023, potentially positioning sports betting to be legalized in the state in Jan. 2024 at the earliest.
Mississippi House Bill 606 passed on March 21, 2023 with overwhelming support in both the House and Senate. Gov. Tate Reeves signed the bill into law on March 29. The bill creates the Mobile Sports Betting Task Force, composed of 13 state lawmakers. The task force would hold its first meeting within 60 days of the bill becoming law on July 1. The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) would have until Dec. 15 to file a public report of the findings of the task force, leaving about two weeks between its release and the start of the 2024 legislative session.
Bill sponsor Rep. Casey Eure (R), who chairs the House Gaming Commission, amended the scope of the law during the legislative process to create a task force, rather than outright legalizing online sports betting throughout the state. Eure hopes that the task force’s study will lead to Mississippi mobile sports betting legalization by the next legislative session, which begins in Jan. 2024.
Current state law mandates a 3% income tax rate for all winnings in Mississippi. Each licensed casino must pay an annual $5,000 fee to the state, as well as license fees based on the number of games offered at the casino and specific municipal/county fees based on location.
Retail sports betting is legal in Mississippi and has been since the summer of 2018. This was the year in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a decision that opened the door for states to open legal sports betting markets if they so desired.
Mississippi had already investigated the feasibility of online gambling with the creation of an internet gaming task force in 2014, which reported technological and revenue concerns at the time. Then in 2017, the Fantasy Contest Act, which legalized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in the state, modified some of the conditions of the 1990 Mississippi Gaming Control Act, which authorized the Mississippi Gaming Commission to regulate riverboat casinos.
There are now about two dozen casinos and other locations where you can place a sports bet in person in Mississippi. However, BetMGM is the sole online MS betting site operating in the state so far, and you can place a sports bet through it only if you are physically located at a BetMGM casino.
House Bill 606 was signed in late March 2023. The bill stipulates that that task force will hold its first meeting within 60 days of July 1. The task force committee members must be finalized by July 31. The PEER Committee has until Dec. 15 to file a public report of the task force’s findings, leaving about two weeks between its release and the start of the 2024 legislative session. That means, in all likelihood, the earliest online sports betting could become legalized would be in January 2024.
Mississippi was one of the first states to authorize sports betting on casino property after the Professional and Amature Sports Protection Act was repealed in 2018.
Four bills that would have legalized online sports betting failed to make it out of committee in 2022. Rep. Casey Eure proposed House Bill 997, would have legalized online sports betting, but would have required bettors to appear in person to register their accounts every 12 months, which would have been the first of its kind in the country. Rep. Cedric Burnett filed House Bill 184 for his third try in four years to legalize mobile sports betting. Sen. Philip Moran wants to approve mobile and esports betting through Senate Bill 2462. A third bill, Senate Bill 2652, had the same title and language similar to that in Eure’s bill, but does not include the in-person requirement.
House Bill 606 was one of three introduced during Jan. 2023’s legislative session. The original language of the bill would have allowed mobile sports betting anywhere in the state. But Eure, who sponsored the bill, amended its scope to focus on creating a task force to investigate the effects of mobile sports gambling first. Other states have explored similar paths to legalization, including Georgia and Vermont.
Unrestricted Mississippi sports betting is taking a unique path to legalization. Below is a timeline of the specific updates affecting Mississippi sportsbooks in the last year:
Our staff of veteran gambling reporters keeps you up-to-date with the latest Mississippi sports betting news. We pride ourselves on bringing you breaking news and analysis of all developments in the world of online sports betting.
Sports fans who want to enjoy Mississippi online betting will currently find their options strictly limited. The only way you can place online wagers is by traveling to a casino and accessing an online sportsbook through your mobile device. When BetMGM went live in September 2021, it became the first online sportsbook in Mississippi that can be used in this way.
Attempts to push forward and legalize sports betting online across the state were foundered in early 2022. The earliest this situation can change is Dec. 2023, and clearly, there remains some hesitancy. However, the legalization of online sports betting in neighboring states may deliver a significant impact on takings at Mississippi casinos; that may in turn lead to more lawmakers favoring an online betting market in Mississippi.
If and when online betting becomes fully legal in Mississippi, here is a selection of the leading brands you can expect to be granted licenses to operate across the Magnolia State:
BetMGM is unique in that it is so far the only operator allowed to operate Mississippi sports betting online. However, the significant catch is that you must visit one of the MGM casinos located in the state to access the online sportsbook. These properties include the Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi and the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica. The bookmaker has leveraged its expertise in casinos to create an excellent sportsbook that is highly respected in several states where it is live.
The BetMGM Mississippi bonus code is STATESBONUSMGM, but you can only use it at MGM-operated sportsbooks in Mississippi.
DraftKings is a brand that has evolved shrewdly since its days as merely a top provider of Daily Fantasy Sports contests. It is now widely regarded as one of the leading players in any state where online sports betting is permitted. The operator offers an extensively user-friendly wagering experience and a broad range of sports to bet on. It already has a presence in Mississippi, where it provides the retail sportsbook at the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort.
FanDuel is live in numerous states where wagering is fully legal - and it provides an outstanding experience in each of them. This is a brand that has built superbly on the launchpad created by its excellence in the Daily Fantasy Sports space. It now appears at or near the top for handle in virtually all the states where it is live, a status justified by the all-around excellence of its features and user experience. It already operates retail books in MS at the IP Casino and Sam's Town Casino.
Caesars is arguably the most famous name in the world of American casinos. It has embraced the opportunity given by the legalization of sports betting to create a superb sportsbook that is now available in several states. You can bet at several retail locations on casino grounds in Mississippi, including the Treasure Bay Casino in Biloxi. If and when the online sportsbook goes live here, visitors will find an outstanding choice of sports, bonuses and promotions.
There is some irony in the fact that Mississippi was one of the first states to push forward with legalized sports betting in the wake of the repeal of PASPA. Yet it now trails dozens of other states that have a fully-fledged licensed online market.
You can place a bet in Mississippi, but you have to be at one of the casinos that take sports bets. There are just over 20 casinos with sportsbooks in the state where you can place wagers. I’ll explain later on in this article what kinds of bets you can place.
But if you want to place an online sports bet, your only option is BetMGM and you have to be at one of its properties, such as the Beau Rivage Casino Resort or the Gold Strike Casino Resort, to do so.
We don’t know exactly when Mississippi sportsbooks will launch, but now we have a timeline of important checkpoints coming up in 2023 to monitor. The state’s task force will meet within 60 days of July 1, finalize committee members by July 31 and deliver findings by December 15. That likely puts the earliest possible legislative action in the January 2024 session.
Neighboring states Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas already legalized online sports betting in 2019, 2021 and 2022, respectively. Alabama has not yet legalized online sports betting despite several legislative attempts since 2019.
There is only one online sportsbook in Mississippi, BetMGM. To place wagers on their app or website, you must be physically located at one of their casino properties in the state. There are over two dozen casinos in Mississippi, and you can place sports bets at those that accept them. FanDuel and DraftKings operate some retail casino sportsbooks within the state.
In states where sports betting is legal, many sports teams have entered into lucrative partnerships with leading gambling companies. These relationships are beneficial to both parties. While there aren’t any major-league sports currently headquartered in Mississippi, several state-adjacent teams have partnerships in place with sportsbooks.
For instance, in 2020 the Tennessee Titans became the first team in the state to enter into such a partnership when it named BetMGM as an official partner. In October 2021, the Nashville Predators entered into a similar agreement with the Bally's Corporation. The New Orleans Saints are partnered with Caesars, who also has naming rights to their home stadium. The New Orleans Pelicans announced a partnership with BetRivers in February 2022, and also have partnerships with Bally's and Caesars. The Memphis Grizzlies are also Caesars partners while the St. Louis Blues partner with DraftKings. In 2021, Louisiana State University unveiled Caesars as the official betting partner of its athletics program. It is still rare for a college to enter into such an arrangement.
Fans of these teams will be happy to bet with their team’s official sportsbook partners, if and when Mississippi sports betting becomes official.
You can sports bet in Mississippi, but there are heavy restrictions. You can only place bets in a brick-and-mortar physical casino location within the state. The only online sportsbook operating is BetMGM, and you have to be on casino grounds in order to use their app or website.
The most recent legislation, House Bill 606, creates a task force to study online sports betting, with the hope that it could be legalized by the next session in January 2024.
There are two ways to bet on sports in Mississippi. The first is by visiting one of Mississippi’s 20+ casinos in person and placing wagers with those that accept them using one of the kiosks or with a teller on the casino floor. Some Mississippi casinos are offering the option to use bet building tools before you come into the casino, so you can have your bet slip all ready to go. FanDuel and DraftKings operate some sportsbooks at retail casino properties.
The second is by using the BetMGM app or website to place a wager while at a BetMGM-operated sportsbook, such as the one at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi or Gold Strike in Robinsville. The app and website are geogated to only work while on casino property.
You can bet on sports in Mississippi at physical casino locations. There are just over 20 brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the state. You need to be on property, but you can use the BetMGM app or website if you are located at a casino where the BetMGM sportsbook operates.
No, online sports betting is not legal in most cases in Mississippi. The only instance where it is allowed is with BetMGM. You can use their app or website to place sports bets only while located within the property of a casino whose sportsbook is BetMGM-run.
Four bills that would have legalized online sports betting throughout the state failed to make it out of committee in 2022’s legislative sessions. Rep. Casey Eure introduced bills in consecutive legislative sessions in 2022 and 2023. His attempt in 2023, House Bill 606, was successfully pushed through, creating a task force to study online sports betting. Rep. Cedric Burnett tried three times in the four years between 2018 and 2022 to legalize mobile sports betting.
Mississippi presents an interesting point of comparison with states where online betting sites have been legalized. Once ahead of the game in 2018, the market in the Magnolia State now is effectively retail-only as online sports betting grows exponentially in other states. There are about two dozen retail sportsbooks in the state, but only one online, and the crucial consideration is that you have to be present at a casino to place an online bet.
This is clearly a far less-liberated industry than you find in many other states. The fact that neighboring states such as Louisiana and Tennessee have embraced online sports betting means that the comparison will only become more stark.
It is virtually inevitable that the size of the handle (and tax revenue) in those states will dwarf those of Mississippi. That may create a sense of urgency for MS legislators to allow an online sports betting market that covers the whole state and not just casino premises.
Mississippi took one step closer towards legalizing online sports betting everywhere in the state with the passing of House Bill 606. Here’s what it took to get to this point in Mississippi sports betting:
The Mississippi Gaming Commission regulates Mississippi sports gambling. It was established in the 1990 Mississippi Gaming Control Act originally to oversee the state’s one-of-a-kind riverboat casinos. The latest legislation created the Mobile Sports Betting Task Force, a 13-member committee made up of state lawmakers, who will study and present their findings on online sports gambling expansion to the Joint Committee On Performance Evaluation And Expenditure Review (PEER), which is a standing committee in the Mississippi state legislature. PEER analyzes state agency programs and operations, and is made up of 14 state congress members.
The legal age to bet in Mississippi is 21. That’s consistent with most other neighboring states and states across the country.
You do not need to be a Mississippi resident to bet online. You do, however, need to be 21 or older and located within the grounds of a BetMGM-operated sportsbook casino.
Each licensed casino must pay an annual $5,000 fee to the state, as well as license fees based on the number of games offered at the casino and specific municipal/county fees based on location.
There have not been any online Mississippi sports betting licenses given out in the state as of yet. It’s possible that the Mobile Sports Betting Task Force and PEER committee will come back with a recommendation on the number and nature of sports betting licenses when they publish their findings in December 2023.
The current retail-only sports betting market in Mississippi generates more revenue than any other of its kind in the USA. The figures for 2021 show a total handle of $741million, sports betting revenue of $78million and a contribution to the state's tax coffers of $9.4million.
These are impressive numbers - but they are likely to be dwarfed by the figures from neighboring states that have recently passed their own sports betting laws. In Louisiana and Tennessee, for instance, the likely handle and tax revenue may focus minds in the Magnolia State around the viability - and desirability - of Mississippi online sports betting.
If the sports betting laws concerning Mississippi sports betting change, there should be a healthy selection of sportsbooks offering the opportunity to enjoy sports gambling. How do you choose from the various betting sites on offer to ensure you register with a company most appropriate to your style of wagering? There are several factors that should be taken into account when making such a decision.
Most of the operators that are allowed to offer online betting in Mississippi in the future will have extensive experience in trading in various other states. There are plenty of locations online where customers of those sportsbooks are happy to share their experiences, both positive and negative. We will also be carrying in-depth, expert reviews of every operator licensed by the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
There are a host of ways in which you can place a wager on a sporting event, many of which are explained below. The best mobile betting companies will enable you to bet in your favorite way by offering a broad selection of markets on each game. They will also, it must be said, have a rich choice of sports so that you can be sure your favorite team or league appears on the list of available bets.
As you become more experienced in mobile sports betting, you may begin to appreciate the value of getting the best odds on every bet you place. If you backed a winner at +140 and your buddy placed the same bet at +160, it takes the shine off your victory. Operators that offer ultra-competitive odds, either on particular sports or across the board, score highly with reviewers and regular bettors.
The opportunity to take advantage of a generous welcome offer should be automatic at any leading sportsbook. However, there should be regular chances to get extra value and rewards on an ongoing basis. These could come in the form of odds boosts, free bets, reduced-juice hours, or even promotions around particular sporting events. What matters is that you feel valued and rewarded as a loyal customer.
You can have all the great odds, bonuses and markets in the world, but if placing your wager is a slow and frustrating process, all that good work can be undone. Leading sites invest considerably in making their online and mobile betting experience as enjoyable as possible. As well as being quick and easy to use, any platform should be well designed so that you can navigate easily from page to page.
We all have a preferred method of moving our money around online. Ideally, your chosen book should enable you to deposit funds and withdraw them, in that way. Most operators have a broad selection of banking methods, including debit and credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, and prepaid cards, but always check that you will be able to put money into your account, and withdraw it, quickly and easily.
Ideally, you don't want to have to contact your MS sportsbook. But if a question, issue or dispute arises, you want it to be addressed and resolved as quickly as possible. There should be several ways of contacting the customer support team, including telephone, email, 24/7 live chat and even a comprehensive FAQ section.
Should the opportunity arrive for you to wager through mobile apps in Mississippi, there is nothing to say you have to sign up with just one sportsbook. Indeed, there are many reasons why you should open several accounts to make sure you are getting the best Mississippi sports betting experience possible.
If you have more than one legal Mississippi sportsbook account, you will be able to compare lines and odds on particular events. You will be able to work out which operators offer the best margins or prices at certain times of day - and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are getting the best possible odds for your selection in a game or race.
There is no escaping the fact that welcome offers can be staggeringly generous as operators attempt to persuade you to become a customer. Why not take advantage of several such bonuses? You could be playing with the operators' money on a host of events for quite some time as a result.
You may find that you like one's treatment of traditional American sports - but also want to wager on European hockey, which isn't carried by that operator. By shopping around, you can be sure of getting access to the sports you want - and, but extension, to all the different types of bets there are when you are looking to get involved with the big action.
Beyond all the measurable factors that dictate which is right for you, you simply have to feel at home. This can be a question of design, or navigation, or even the tone of voice used on the website or app. It's a bit like trying on several hats in a shop; once you have found the right one, you know it's right for you.
It's important to know that there are occasions when rules on wagers differ between Mississippi sports betting sites. For instance, there may be a minimum price on your initial risk-free bet at one operator, but not another. Similarly, the minimum number of selections in your parlay for parlay insurance to apply may vary between sportsbooks. Be sure you check these out.
If regulated online sports betting in Mississippi goes live, and operators begin to take bets online, the competition for custom is sure to be fierce. One potent weapon deployed by companies that offer sports betting in the battle for clients is promotions. There are several types of bonuses that can give sports bettors so much extra value as they enjoy their remote wagering experience. Be sure to look for these Mississippi betting promos on the recommended operator sites and apps.
Many leading online sports betting sites offer a risk-free bet as a welcome offer to greet new customers. This is a simple and easily understood bonus that gets your relationship with a sportsbook off to a pleasant start. If your first bet wins, you pick up your return as normal. But if it loses, your stake is returned to you as a free bet - sometimes up to a limit of $1,000 or more.
One type of welcome bonus that adds serious power to your new betting account is a deposit match. However much you place in your new account, the sportsbook will add to it. On some occasions, this will be by 100 percent, meaning your balance is effectively doubled instantly. Always check the terms and conditions, though, to ensure you get the most from your offer.
Customer acquisition is a serious business for all legal online sports betting companies - and they love it when you help them to add to their customer base. So much so that there is often a referral bonus on offer. If one of your buddies signs up for a new account on your recommendation, you should receive a bonus, usually in the form of a free bet that can be worth up to $100.
Regular customers enjoy odds boosts because they ensure that your return on a particular bet could be much higher than expected. Odds boosts are offered regularly by the best sportsbooks; some even have a dedicated section on their home page to showcase the enhanced prices for that day. The boost should show the original odds too, so that you can see how much of a boost has been applied.
Parlays are a hugely popular way of betting. The reward on offer can be substantial, in that you could get a handsome return from a small stake if all your selections are correct and the odds multiply. However, the risk is that if any of those picks let you down, you end up with nothing. With parlay insurance, however, if just one of your selections is a loser and the others all win, you get your initial stake back as a free bet.
There are many reasons why people enjoy visiting a casino or other licensed retail premises to place a sports wager. Similarly, there are also those who will insist that nothing compares to the experience of being able to bet on your mobile. Let's look at the pros and cons of both.
What types of bets can you expect to find and enjoy at online and retail betting sites in Mississippi and elsewhere? Here is a guide to the various methods of wagering on sports events.
Mississippi is one of the many states that is not home to any professional team in the big four sports: football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. However, that does not prevent sports fans among the three million residents of the Magnolia State from following avidly the top-level action in pro sports, as well as leading college teams based in the state.
If the chance arises to place mobile wagers or visit online sites, you can be sure there will be a hearty appetite to wager on the following sports.
Football is the leading sport in the U.S., with millions of fans devoted to the game from coast to coast. It also generates serious betting interest; the Super Bowl is widely believed to be the biggest annual sports betting event on the calendar. The NFL offers numerous opportunities to wager on games throughout the regular season and the playoffs.
College sports generate enormous interest among fans across the U.S. Mississippi has several notable programs and teams, including the Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Both teams play in the FBS, the highest level of college football in the country, draw big crowds to their games and will generate significant online betting interest if wagers on college sports are permitted.
Across the world, basketball is one of the leading sports from a wagering perspective. Fans love the opportunity to bet on this high-scoring, fast-moving game, and the many breaks in play encourage in-running wagers. The NBA is, of course, the world's top league, and it generates huge interest through the regular season and the NBA Finals.
Baseball's long history ensures it retains a place close to the heart of American sports fans. Bettors love it too for the extensive opportunities it delivers for wagering both before and during games. Baseball will always have a high profile in the USA, from spring training through the long regular season and all the way to the World Series.
Hockey has become a genuinely coast-to-coast sport in recent decades. Expansion teams have moved into states not previously associated with the game, and as a result, there are plenty of hockey fans to be found in every state. Hockey is another sport that offers numerous ways to get involved through wagering, particularly on-point spreads, totals or props.
There may be no big four teams in Mississippi itself, but they are two premier collegiate programs in the state and plenty of leading sides in neighboring states that draw considerable support from the Magnolia State. When Mississippi sports betting goes live, these are the teams you will want to place your bets on:
While we wait to see if any future sports betting bills are successful in bringing legal online sports betting to Mississippi, are there any other options? The stringency of the gambling laws in the Magnolia State ensures there are very few ways of gambling outside the many casinos here.
Daily Fantasy Sports were legalized in Mississippi under the fantasy sports bill of 2017 which also opened the door to retail sports betting a year later. As a result, Mississippi fantasy sites are permitted to operate here. Leading providers FanDuel and DraftKings are among the companies that offer games to players here.
There are no horse racing tracks in Mississippi - and, unlike in many other states where racing stands apart from other sports - no licensed websites where you can bet on races elsewhere. The only option for horse racing betting fans is to visit a licensed casino property, where you can place pari-mutuel bets.
As in the rest of the USA, no sportsbook in Mississippi - either online in the future or at a casino resort at present - is allowed to offer markets on political events, including elections.
In some states, bettors are allowed to wager on events such as the Academy Awards, the Grammys and other cultural happenings such as TV reality shows. It seems unlikely that even the best sportsbooks in Mississippi will be allowed to offer such bets.
Wagering on eSports has become increasingly popular in recent years. Many states where sports betting is legal to have relaxed restrictions to allow wagering on such events. It remains to be seen whether or not online betting sites in Mississippi will be allowed to offer eSports bets.
All leading sportsbooks now accept the need to encourage responsible gambling at all times. While for most of us this is a light-hearted and relaxing activity, some people encounter serious problems as they lose control of their wagering and slide into addiction.
As well as the extensive advice and resources supplied on all good betting sites, there are organizations in Mississippi that offer help and practical support. One such is the Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling.
Yes, you can bet on sports in Mississippi, but with some restrictions. There are about two dozen casinos across Mississippi that have launched retail sportsbooks since the law was changed to permit this activity in 2018. However, you can wager online only if you are at a casino, and BetMGM is the only online operator in action so far.
Retail sports betting in Mississippi launched in 2018. House Bill 606 establishes an online sports betting task force to study and present findings, which will be public by Dec. 2023. The first opportunity for new legislation will likely be early 2024.
Right now, Mississippi sports betting is effectively retail-only. BetMGM is the only online sportsbook allowed to operate in the state, and you must be on casino grounds at a BetMGM-managed sportsbook. FanDuel and DraftKings handle sports wagers at some retail locations.
Mississippi allows sports betting at retail locations only within the state. You can place bets at kiosks on the casino floor, and you can wager online with BetMGM only on casino grounds of BetMGM-operated sportsbooks. You must be 21+ and on casino property to place sports bets.
No, some sports betting pools are permitted in Mississippi, depending on which casino you visit. Pari-mutuel bets, where there is a growing prize pool, are accepted at licensed casino properties within the state, as long as they abide by the Mississippi Gaming Commission's guidelines.
Yes, it is and has been since 2018. There are about two dozen retail sportsbooks in operation. However, the online wagering market here is virtually non-existent. You have to be on casino premises to use a sports betting app, and the only such sportsbook to launch so far is BetMGM, which went live in September 2021.
If you want to place a sports bet in Mississippi, you will need to be at least 21 years old. This is the minimum age you need to be to enjoy casino gaming in Mississippi - and these are the only premises where licensed sports betting takes place in the Magnolia State.
If you enjoy a big win at a Mississippi sportsbook, 25 percent of your return will be withheld by the sportsbook against your federal tax return. You will also have to pay a three per cent state tax. Operators pay a 12 percent tax on their revenues.
Martin Booth is an award-winning contributor covering sports betting and casino gaming around the world for decades, Martin is one of the most trusted voices in online gambling, from legislative updates to breaking down the top betting apps in various states.